New York

Dana Schutz

LFL Gallery

The meteoric rise of Dana Schutz, a twenty-eight-year-old painter fresh from the MFA program at Columbia University, serves for many as a reiteration of the way in which the art world mirrors the entertainment industry, with its privileging of youth over experience and its perpetual quest for fresh talent. More interesting, perhaps, is the way in which Schutz’s work has polarized viewers, separating those who applaud her vigorous neo-neo-expressionist canvases from those who are more skeptical, like a visitor overheard leaving the gallery muttering, “This is the new genius?”

The issues Schutz engages have been kicking around for more than a century, and for many her work represents a nightmare return to “retinal” art—sheer eye candy. Narrative is a knotty issue, too: Schutz has described her paintings as “loosely based on meta-narratives” that she creates herself, and which have included

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